Kids lunch ideas with Sargento cheese slices!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Sponsored by Sargento

First of all I have to say picking kids lunches can be tough! We want to offer them healthy and nutritious foods but truthfully those end of in the garbage at school or comeback gross and soggy in their lunch kit.

For those who don't know I have a 21 year old too so I have been doing this for a LONG time! I realized giving the kids a choice of quality items made them feel like they got what they picked. Instead of asking "Do you want a peanut butter and jam sandwich or this collard green wrap?" I would ask "What type of cheese do you want to pick for your greens wrap?". Another thing I found is my kids always ate what they made. There was something there to be proud about and it helped them experiment with so many new things!

So on to a few lunch ideas that we use!

While many kids love the flavor of the mozzarella, mild cheddar and Colby Jack we mixed it u with a few of King's faves. He is a huge cheese fan so he loves every type of slice we buy. Of course you can use any Sargento cheese that your family loves! Also, under no way are we a no bread family. King takes a classic turkey and cheddar sandwich to lunch too! We just like having alternatives.

Grapes and Cheese slices on Skewers

Anything on skewers makes my kids so darn happy! Not only do they love making them (even Apple gets totally involved) but they love to eat them.

We did grape and gouda + 2 cheese blend Sargento cheese slice wrapped with turkey slices. The trick is wrap your cheese slice into the meat slice so it stays nicely on the skewer.

Melon and Cheese wrapped with Prosciutto

Another awesome simple to make item is cantaloupe with any Sargento cheese slice of choice wrapped around and held in place with prosciutto.

These also make the best adult tapas if you drizzle reduced balsamic on them. I snuck a couple to enjoy with a glass of wine!

Next up is Collard Greens Wrap.

These sound scary to some that are worried about something being green but let me say they are soooo good! I know many of you see on my stories we use them as a wrap staple in our house.

It really is as easy as picking your favorite sandwich toppings and wrapping hem in the nice mild and hearty green leaf. I like using these because they do not fall apart easily in the kids hands. I do a tight burrito fold and they are good to go!

We used a roasted chicken, pickles, Sargento 2 cheese blend slice, carrots for added crunch and my chipotle mayo. (recipe here of the mayo)

I like to add tomatoes to mine and sauerkraut or hummus!


Last but not least are the egg bites!

These absolutely awesome grab and go bites are perfect for breakfast on the run or as a school lunch.

In a muffin tin you need to spray with a non-stick. I prefer coconut oil spray.
Layer your meat slice of choice in the tin.
Depending on size of your tin crack in 1 or 2 eggs.
Add cheese slice of choice and anything else you may want. (tomato, cooked potato, a meat chunk, mushrooms... really whatever)
I made a layered scalloped potatoes with cheese slices and ham so I scooped some of that in 1/2 our batch and the rest we did cheddar and tomato.

Cook at 350* for 22-30 minutes. My oven takes 30 minutes for these larger tins.

Hope you get some fresh ideas from this and you will be bringing the kids in the kitchen more!
It really is a great way to spend quality time with your kids in an electronic fueled world.

To learn more about Sargento cheeses and locate a retailer near you


Veggie Rice bowl with Easy Cilantro & Avocado Dressing

Monday, July 15, 2019

This cilantro dressing is one of my favorite light flavor dressings. You can use either fresh or frozen avocado for it. It lasts about 10 days in the fridge well sealed. ( I use my WEAN GREEN linked HERE)

For this post I used Right Rice a rice alternative but you can use any preferred rice or even a greens bottom. For your bowl place cooked rice in bottom and simply layer any of your favorite vegetables on top. I always add Kimchi to mine as the spice and zing added to the bowl works perfect!

My rice bowl had avocado, shredded beets, cherry tomatoes (salt these before adding to bowl), sprouted micro greens, red pepper, kimchi and arugula.

Note : using the fresh lemon and lime really makes a difference! It has a brighter flavor and also a healthier option. I also do not add oil to this dressing so the taste is cleaner however, if you want the added oil instead of water use grape seed.

Easy Cilantro & Avocado Dressing

Ingredients :
1 cup fresh Cilantro
1 large ripe Avocado
2 Jalapeno slices
1 fresh Lime juiced
1/2 fresh Lemon Juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup water (this is to help whip)

Place in vitamix, bullet or similar blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Taste before removing. If you need add more lemon or salt to suit your personal flavor.

Chipotle Aioli Recipe

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

As promised I am uploading my chipotle aioli recipe in partnership with Best Foods Mayonnaise.

This aioli is perfect for burgers, as a dip for grilled potatoes or roasted vegetables. It is the easiest thing to make yet packs so much flavor and punch for dishes. I keep mine in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


1 can Chipotles (7 oz size is what I buy)
1.5 cups Best Foods Mayonnaise (use anyone you prefer)
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano 
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/8 cup Lemon Juice (fresh preferred)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. 


Caper & Dill Hearty Potato Salad Recipe

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A very easy and very flavorful potato salad I have ben making for years!

Ingredients needed :

2-3 pound red or yukon gold potatoes
2 cups mayonnaise ( I prefer Best Foods Classic)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup capers
2 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup sliced dill pickles
5 hard boiled eggs (prefer an 11 minute boil for this)
1/8 to 1/4 pink Himalayan sea salt  teaspoon salt (this can vary to your taste)

In large pot fill with water and add salt. Bring to boil. (Salt is important to add to all vegetables boiling water!)

Chop potatoes into slightly larger than bite size pieces.

Boil potatoes until tender. Remove and place on tray in fridge to cool.

Meanwhile prepare dressing for salad. Combine in medium bowl mayonnaise, green onion, radishes, dill, capers, dill pickles mustard and paprika. Let sit in fridge 30 minutes while potatoes cool to increase flavor.

Rough chop egg and add to large bowl with both potatoes and dressing. Lightly fold all ingredients until well mixed without breaking up potatoes. Check for salt needed as capers add salt to this mix .. you can add desired amount. I typically add about 1/4 teaspoon.


You can enjoy right away or leave in fridge covered to add more flavor.

Sun-dried Tomatoes

Since I had started a garden I ended up with an excess amount of tomatoes! I decided to try making my own sun dried tomatoes. I can not believe how tasty these are when you make them at home!!

Slice tomatoes 1/4" thick
Spray a VERY light layer of coconut oil spray on baking sheet.
Lay tomatoes on sheet and salt lightly with pink Himalayan sea salt.

Place out in sun.

I did not need to cover mine up as in our area there are not flies or bugs that are attracted to these. If you need layer a light fine mesh over tray.

Depending on heat and sunshine these will be dried in 1- 3 days. (could be slightly longer in your area) We had 110* heat last week and mine were ready in 36 hours but this week being just under 100* they took just over 48 hours.

Once dry pack into a jar and cover with high quality olive oil.

These are shelf stable and perfect for salads, pasta or eating their own.


Cooking with Carmen!

I had taken a break from blogging for sometime after feeling a little uninspired. Throughout this time I continued to share my life on social media and love doing so! Something that always gets people interacting and asking me to post more of is my cooking. 

A little background about me and cooking.

When I was 16 I moved out on my own. I knew how to peel potatoes and do some basic prep of vegetables but really was clueless to the actual cooking. I started burning pots and pans like a wild fire and had so little money I was hitting up garage sales for more because I couldn't afford new at the rate I killed them. It wasn't until I almost started the kitchen on fire that I learned the low and high wasn't cooking speed. Since I was always the type of person who felt getting things done quick was good I used max cooking speed aka HOT AS SHIT!

Eventualy, I started to watch cooking shows and my non cable TV.  Let me tell you Canadian cooking shows on free TV were not like they are now! Soooo basic!! I also couldn't afford most food items they used so I had to learn to improvise. This was the start to my success in the kitchen!

Fast forward to 2017 when I was thrown into a commercial kitchen as part of a job description I did not originally accept but was up for the challenge for! Now today I create food items for a restaurant menu and cocktails for a bar.

So here is the start of my new look on Carmen the Modern Mom... I will be helping you cook with ease! I try and eat sugar free as much as possible ( and this doesn't mean diet sugar that is a NO! in my cooking!) and use what is in season. I also try and make meals without breaking the bank yet they taste like you went the extra mile for guests! So I hope y'all enjoy!

PS. It sure is a change when I now have to write measurements down for these recipes! I am totally a fly by the seat of my pants cook!

Hope you all enjoy!

My super organized closet with Modular Closets

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Let me start with this.
Kurt and Carmen are walking into this ugly home looking to buy a fixer upper and the minute Kurt walks into the master bedroom and sees the small long closet WITHOUT doors (yes, they removed all doors in the house??) Kurt turns and says "Let's go! This is not the house for us. We can live without many things but not a closet!"

I knew this home had potential and wasn't walking away. I also wasn't minding downsizing some of my clothing and shoes since I still had a few items that made me feel like garbage because over time you gain weight and the ones that didn't fit gave me bad feelings.

Fast forward to now :

We moved in and I packed all my clothing into the terrible closet space with one long rod and dilapidated shelves that tilted forward so things fell off.

I took the doors off so you can see the mess. I am also using Kaeden's closet in his room for all my hanging dresses.

Shoe disaster!

It was time to get a great system! After researching I came across Modular Closets. 
Modular Closets is great for achieving a customized look and function for a fraction of the price! I worked with them and had send in my dimensions and what I needed for my space. As you can tell I needed some good shoe room! They gave back a design drawing with suggestion for my space and it was perfect!

When the system arrived in many boxes (I should have take a photo) I was like OH MY GOSH! This will be so much work. However, it was one of the easiest assembly and instructions I have dealt with. I was able to build everything quickly on my own and with the help of my 17 year old son we got it installed into he space.

Viola!! My stuff fits! I couldn't be happier with everything.
Behind that wall is my long dresses and the drawers are perfect for my leggings, tank tops, shorts and socks etc. 

If you are like me you can order additional shelves to make sure you have enough for shoes.

Above my dresses is a little shelf I use for my scarves. I did a basket so its easy to get down and pull out items.

The drawer glides are so smooth! They do come with handles however I chose not to use them. I wanted the smooth front look.

If you are looking to tidy up a space and give everything a place I recommend Modular Closets!
Their goal is to provide homeowners with a dream look for affordable prices while using top grade 3/4 inch plywood and materials!

Now off to shop since I think I see a little more space for clothes! ;)

This post with in partnership with Modular Closet. All views and opinions are mine.

New Home + New Year

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

I am so excited to have something that I am passionate about to share again! I loved writing blog posts when Apple was a baby about gear and parenting. This last year I had been so focused on building the brand Dringk Eatery + Bar I hadn't posted much here!

Now to the house stuff! We bought a fixer upper! I can't wait to share as we upgrade each of the rooms! 

I have started by painting the house entirely inside and installed new flooring. It was a dingy grayish white and the previous people removed the flooring. Concrete was not my thing! My initial plan is to upgrade the kitchen first then move on to the living room and master bathroom. Eventually I will be replacing the windows and doors but I need to plant my money tree first!

Here are a few before pics. I am also linking the latest upgrades I am getting asked about that I did in the kitchen. I have changed my mind on the backsplash so that has gone on hold and I am still deciding on the island that I want to put on. At first I wanted to do black but I may now do a solid granite one.

The following posts I will be better at getting proper before pictures. I was a little overwhelmed with Ace our dog dying, Christmas and moving during a very busy week at our biz!

The before wall color. It has low ceilings so I wanted to make it as bright as possible.
We also had the ugliest vent from a swamp cooler that I had removed.

This light is going bye bye!
And so did the concrete floors.

Picking the right flooring is hard! We chose Lifeproof in color "Walton Oak" from Home Depot

Flooring down! It is dark when cloudy and nice and bright on light days. We have many bright days in Palm Springs so it is just perfect!

Apple caught testing paint in the master bedroom.

Wall Color : Semi Gloss Behr PURE WHITE
Ceiling Color : Flat Behr PURE WHITE
Master Bedroom : Behr INK BLACK

Before handles

Quick kitchen upgrade while we wait for tile, appliances, island and more!

Handles Linked HERE

This stove is being replaced along with other appliances. 

I will be linking most of my finds and loves on my new Amazon page!


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